Chef’s Special: Minted Broad Bean Purée with Halloumi & Caramelised Onions with Toasted Pitta Triangles
This delicious lunchtime crowd pleaser by Erin Baker, aka The Natural Cook, makes the most of our new season produce. For more information about Erin’s recipes, her Natural Cookery School and to book natural cookery lessons, visit naturalcookeryschool.com
5 medium onions
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
splash of balsamic vinegar
1kg broad beans
2 small cloves garlic or 1 large
handful of mint, reserve small tips for garnish
juice of ½ a lemon
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pack halloumi
1 pack small round pitta breads
To caramelise onions:
Slice the stem end (not the root end) of the onion, place the cut end on the cutting board and slice onion in half. Remove skins and slice into half circles, about 1 cm thick. Heat pan over medium heat, add oil, wait a minute and add onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook slowly for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the initial browning has occurred, you may want to turn down the heat to avoid burning. As the sugars release from the onions, a rich brown colour will appear. Add a splash of vinegar at the end to deglaze the pan and remove from heat.
Broad Bean Purée:
Shell the broad beans. Place a pan of water on the stove to boil. When boiling, add broad beans, bring back to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain.
Place the cooked broad beans in a bowl, add garlic, mint, lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. Using a hand blender, whiz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Cut pitta circle in half, then quarters, then eighths, forming small triangles. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake until crispy, turning once or twice, about 10-15 minutes.
do not do this until almost ready to serve!
Slice the halloumi into 1cm thick slabs. Heat frying pan over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is nice and hot, add the halloumi. Fry for about a minute on each side. You can also dredge halloumi in seasoned plain flour before frying.
Using small plates, place a slice of halloumi in the middle, dollop a spoonful of broad bean purée on top, drape a few of the caramelised onions over the top and place 4-6 pitta triangles around the edge of the plate. Garnish with a mint leaf.
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